TV2: KSU alumni sell coffee on campus

Lauren Miller

KentWired Video

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The smell of beans fills the air at Bent Tree coffee roasters in downtown Kent. Kent State Alumni Mike Mistur and Ryan Brannon operate their quiet, little shop on N. Water St.

“The two of us always wanted to start a business together, and we both have been home roasters,” says Mistur. “[We] started in our garage, and we thought now is as good of time as any [to start a business].”

After six months of business, Bent Tree decided to start a new partnership with Kent State University.

“It seemed like the natural thing to do,” says Mistur. “It’s a college town, and we were both graduates from there. We spent a lot of time there, and we thought it’d be a great place to sell our coffee.”

As of last week, campus eateries like Eastway, Prentice and Rosie’s offer four different blends of Bent Tree coffee, including a university-inspired “Black Squirrel Blend.”

“We’re making coffee, they’re selling coffee,” says Brannon. “We thought anything we can do to work with [the university] we are willing to try.”

Bob Murphy, a University Salesman, believes students will enjoy the locally brewed coffee, especially the taste.

“It’s a unique experience,” says Murphy. “It’s not your typical American coffee.”

Mistur and Brannon say they are happy about the current partnerships between the city and the university.

“Right now it’s an exciting time in Kent. Lots of new businesses are opening,” says Brannon. “Finally, a real shift for the university and downtown businesses to cooperate and work together.”

Bent Tree hopes in the future to sell their coffee through Jazzman’s Coffee.

“We’ve been talking very tentatively about that,” says Mistur. “We’re hoping that, sometime in the near future, we can serve our coffee there.”

For now, students can buy a bag for eight dollars.

Contact Lauren Miller at [email protected].